HealthDay News — Certain occupations related to potential noxious airborne agents are associated with increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in workers, according to a study published online in Arthritis Care & Research.

Anna Ilar, from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues analyzed 3522 cases and 5580 controls from the Swedish population-based Epidemiological Investigation of Rheumatoid Arthritis case-control study to examine the correlation between occupation and the risk of anti-citrullinated protein antibody (ACPA)+ RA or ACPA− RA. Information on work history and lifestyle factors was obtained using a questionnaire.

The researchers found that bricklayers and concrete workers, material handling operators, and electrical and electronics workers had increased risk of ACPA+ RA among men (odds ratios [OR]: 2.9; 95% CI, 1.4-5.7; OR: 2.4; 95% CI, 1.3-4.4, and OR: 2.1; 95% CI, 1.1-3.8], respectively). Bricklayers and concrete workers and electrical and electronics workers had increased risk of ACPA− RA (OR: 2.4; 95% CI, 1.0-5.7 and OR: 2.6; 95% CI, 1.3-5.0, respectively). Assistant nurses and attendants had a moderately increased risk of ACPA+ RA among women (OR: 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1-1.6), while no occupations correlated significantly with ACPA− RA.

“Mainly occupations related to potential noxious airborne agents were associated with an increased risk of ACPA+ or ACPA− RA, after adjustments for previously known confounders,” the authors write.


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Reference

Illar A, Alfredsson L, Wiebert P, Klareskog L, Bengtsson C. Occupation and risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis: results from a population-based control study [published online August 10, 2017]. Arthrit Care Res. doi:10.1002/acr.23321